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No south west land is available for Ruga settlements – Yoruba elders

The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) says there is no space for the Ruga settlements in the entire south west zone.

The elders ask all the the governors in the zone to harmonise a common decision and stand their ground against the proposed project. The organisation says it is surprised that the federal government is behind the proposal.

The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) on Monday, July 1, rejected the proposed establishment of Ruga settlements in any of the states in the south west zone. The elders warned that no part of Yoruba land has space for the project adding that the proposal by the federal government was ‘dead on arrival’ in the zone. The Nation reports that in a statement by the president of the YCE, Dansaaki Ade Agbede, in Ibadan, Oyo state, the organisation wondered how a group of people seen as threats to peace and security of others would own settlements in places outside their domains.

To now think that the federal government that should be concerned and worried about the untoward activities of such people is the sponsor of Ruga is worrisome. “Such a project is not at all in the best interest of this country as well as PMB’s presidency and the earlier the federal government listens to the voice of the people by disembarking on the project, the better,” the Agbese said. The organisation insisted that the recent experience of the people of Yoruba land in the hands of herdsmen “leaves much to be desired with our spirit of openness and accommodation being eroded. We can’t fold our arms and allow our land to be overrun by strangers.” The elders urged the governors of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun to be on guard and make the decision of the people known to the federal government. “This is not about politics or political party affiliation. It is about patriotism and responsibility to the people that elected them into office.

“As the highest body of Yoruba socio-cultural group, we are saying an emphatic NO to the construction of Fulani settlements in any of the states in the Yoruba speaking area of the country. “Our land is for the establishment of industries and farming and not cattle grazing and we are expressing our vehement opposition to the project, which to us is nothing but an expansionist agenda,” the statement said while emphasising that the move by this federal government does not portray the current administration as fair.

Recall that governors from the south east and the south south zones of Nigeria, on Sunday, June 30, rejected the proposed Ruga farm settlements of the federal government for herdsmen across states of the federation. The governors said they were not part of the move and that they had no plans for such settlements in their zones.

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